What was your first introduction to United Way? What inspired you to become involved with LINC?

I first became involved with LINC when I participated in a HoliDAY of Service volunteer event. After spending the day volunteering, we were all invited to a LINC networking event at a local brewery. It was an absolute blast. At that time, I had recently moved to Atlanta and was looking for ways to get involved in the community and meet like-minded professionals. LINC seemed like a great way to tackle both of those goals (spoiler: it was!).

What aspect of United Way’s work in the community are you most passionate about supporting?

It is hard to pick just one aspect, since United Way does a great job of supporting so many different facets of our community. That being said, the work United Way has done around its Strong Learners investment priority is particularly notable. I support United Way’s mission of emphasizing how early, preemptive action in children’s education can positively impact our community. I can’t wait to see the downstream effects of this investment priority.

How do you incorporate giving back into your free time? How are you continuing to stay involved in the community during a pandemic?

I find the easiest way to incorporate giving back in my free time is to find organizations that I’m passionate about. When you’re passionate about a cause, I find it is easier to make the needed time. Additionally, finding a group of people who are just as passionate as you are (hint: LINC!) makes giving back all the more fun and enjoyable.

It has been more difficult to stay involved with the community during the pandemic, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the creative virtual volunteer opportunities available. For example, I’ve been able to stay involved with the community by joining a virtual “hackathon” where we compiled educational resources for those struggling during the pandemic and have also served as a virtual mentor for high school students going through the college application process.

What would you say to someone who is considering joining LINC?

Sign up for a virtual networking or volunteering opportunity! These events are a great chance to meet our wonderful members and learn about United Way’s work. Plus, if you join now, you’ll be in a great position to get rolling once we get back to hosting events in-person. I personally can’t wait for the next Volunteer Day of Service!

Who do you consider an inspiration and why?

There are so many folks who have inspired me, it is hard to pick just one! At the moment, I’ve found inspiration from Nassim Nicholas Taleb. His works have helped me think differently about our world and provided a valuable perspective. Check out The Black Swan if you have a chance!